January, 2013


Teaching by example

In many ways, Cheryl Lodico’s new novel, “Escape from the Maelstrom,” is as much a tribute to her grandmother as it is a work of historical fiction. Comment

December, 2012


Bayside library to close for renovations

The Bayside branch of the Queens Library will close its doors by the end of this month for extensive renovations scheduled for completion this summer, the library said. Comment

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Far Rockaway

Queens Library receives $50 donation to rebuild after Sandy

Queens Library received a $50,000 donation from several Turkish-American organizations on Friday, including Turkish Cultural Center Queens, Helping Hands Relief Foundation and Kimse Yok Mu. Comment

October, 2012


From Bell Boulevard to bookshelves, Flushing children’s author shares story of hope, ambition

When he was just a boy growing up in Italy, Mario Trimoglie said his father told him that in America, dreams could come true. Comment
Long Island City

LIC celebrates site for library due in ‘15

The Hunters Point’s library will not be open until 2015, but at the dedication ceremony for its site Friday, Queens Library and elected officials spoke as if they had reached the end of a long journey. Comment

Astoria native’s romance novel takes readers from streets of neighborhood to the canals of Venice

Author Rosanna Chiofalo’s debut novel, “Bella Fortuna” takes place in the Astoria of her childhood. A warm tribute to her heritage, the book brings to life colorful scenes from her past as a first-generation Italian American daughter of Sicilian parents who emigrated to America in the 1960s. Comment

September, 2012


Astoria man writes ‘Immortal Lycanthropes’ novel

Supernatural stories are all the rage in young adult fiction, but Astorian Hal Johnson said that for his book, “Immortal Lycanthropes,” he turned to classic children’s literature for inspiration. Comment

Librarian shows lots of love

The reading room at the Hollis library was full of youngsters last week as they watched the juggling comic Will Shaw toss his bowler hat on his head and share his brand of deadpan humor, but the real show came when children’s librarian Sueli Zaquem made good on the pledge she issued at the beginning of the summer and lopped off more than a foot of her brunette locks for charity. Comment

August, 2012


Group grateful for saved library

On behalf of all the Friends of Queens Library, we, the group’s presidents, would like to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council for adopting a budget this year that saves our library system and our staff. Comment

Rita steps out

Rita Plush: Her name seems to evoke an image of a golden era movie star. But Ms. Plush, a published short story writer and essayist, never sought fame. When her first novel, “Lily Steps Out,” recently debuted, it seemed fame had found her. Comments (3)

Library foundation finished

The journey to reopen the Elmhurst Library reached a major milestone last week as construction was completed on the foundation for the library’s new 30,000-square-foot building. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

Yeats poem not uplifting, but still offers important insight

Readers of my column and blog may realize that, sarcasm aside, I am an optimist about life. I have had a good life and am grateful for that. Comments (6)

July, 2012


Bayside native pens book based on 9/11 experience

Looking for a great summer read? Check out Tennessean author Neil Newton’s first riveting novel, “The Railroad.” In a New York minute, the Bayside native’s life was forever impacted by his 9/11 ordeal. Skillfully combining this experience with a tale of murder and an unexpected twist, Newton even tackles hot-button issues like domestic violence and sexual abuse. Comment

Living out his fantasy

A corner of the universe where fantasy and fiction are your guide. That’s where gifted illustrator Greg Opalinski goes when he’s inspired. Comment

June, 2012

Rockaway Beach

Telling the tale of Rockaway Beach

Vivian Rattay Carter has lived all around New York City from Astoria and Tribeca to Park Slope and Riverdale. But once she moved to Rockaway Beach in 1994, she realized she couldn’t live anywhere else. Comments (2)

Queens author helps abuse victims to heal with words

A Glendale author used writing as a way to free herself from anger, and now she’s giving others the same chance to turn the page on their past. Comment

May, 2012


Van Bramer library card bill expansion now law

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill into law last week that will expand the Library Card Act. Comment

April, 2012


Jamaica Library grateful for funds

On behalf of Queens Library, I want to thank the voters on the Rockaway peninsula and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (D-Ozone Park) for allocating $700,000 in capital funding for improvements to Queens Library at Peninsula and for an automated library vender in Breezy Point. Comment
Long Island City

Value of modern journalism focus of LaGuardia forum

A veteran foreign correspondent and author will explore the evolution of modern journalism during a discussion at LaGuardia Community College next week. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

Margaret Mitchell backed black civil rights secretly

Recently, Elaine and I watched an “American Masters” program on Channel 13. It was about Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind.” Comments (1)

Queens in Your Pocket will guide you thru boro

The Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park held a special event last month that introduced the new Queens in Your Pocket, a guide to the borough that contains articles on trendy neighborhood restaurants, hotels and local businesses. Comment

QC student introduces German novel to English readers

Getting published is no easy feat: It can take months, years even. So it came as a huge surprise to Queens College graduate student Anne Posten when she was told that her English translation of German writer Tankred Dorst’s “Der Schöne Ort” (“This Beautiful Place”) was being published by Hang Loose Press, a year before even completing her master’s of fine arts at the college. Comment

January, 2012

St. Albans

Authors sell tomes at Black Spectrum Theatre’s first book fair

From a children’s book on how to conquer your fears to stories of the first black soldiers to fight in the Civil War, the first book fair Saturday at the Black Spectrum Theatre at Roy Wilkins Park had something for everyone. Comment

Queens locales come alive in anthology set in borough

As part of a sordid, dark plot, 25-year-old Nikki Lavin Sheridan drugged and drowned her father, Douglaston doctor George Sheridan, in the waters under the Throgs Neck Bridge — the same place her mother, Eileen Lavin, was murdered a quarter century ago. Comment

Jamaica Avenue bookseller pens tome on giving up scams

About once a week, Michael Evans can be seen on Jamaica Avenue hawking his books — one autobiographical and the others a series about a man who kills snitches. Comments (2)
CNG: Community Newspaper Group